COQUITLAM, B.C., May 17, 2022 – A new community centre is coming to Coquitlam’s City Centre with a proposed renovation of the Innovation Centre in Town Centre Park.
The Innovation Centre (1207 Pinetree Way) is an 11,250-square-foot facility built in 1996 near the Evergreen Cultural Centre. Over the years, the facility has supported a variety of civic and commercial uses including offices for the Smart Choices Team and Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, the Peter Legge Library and short-term office spaces for local startups and small businesses.
Since 2004, the City has operated the facility using it for office and meeting space for staff and to support events taking place at Town Centre Park and, more recently, converting it to a temporary fitness space during renovations at the City Centre Aquatic Complex.
The City is proposing to renovate and optimize the underutilized space to address three key needs in the area:
- Reduce pressures on nearby civic facilities including the reduction of waitlists for Pinetree Community Centre and Glen Pine Pavilion for recreation and culture programs, including spring break and summer camps;
- Provide spaces to support park users and park events and volunteers (e.g. the winter lights); and
- Provide opportunities for sample programs offered by by arts and culture partners (e.g. Evergreen Cultural Centre, Place des Arts, Coquitlam Heritage Society).
The scope of the renovations, which is substantially more cost-effective than building an entirely new facility, will include a community living room space with a concession on the top floor along with two multi-use spaces and a new covered outdoor deck. The bottom floor will continue to provide multi-purpose and meeting room spaces along with a maker’s space connected to the outdoor patio and a social gathering space.
The new vision for the facility is an inclusive space for discovery, participation and celebration with a lakeside view of Town Centre Park.
Potential Programs and Rentals
The revamped community centre will be used to provide additional community space until future City Centre facilities are built through the long-term build-out of the City Centre Area Plan. Proposed uses include:
- Meeting existing and anticipated demand for recreation programming
- Expanding out-of-school programs, camps and other offerings
- Providing an indoor casual gathering space for park visitors through a community living room / drop-in space (1 million lake loop pedestrian visits were counted in 2021)
- Providing a concession with food and beverage offerings
- Supporting a range of events at Town Centre Park including Canada Day, Kaleidoscope and Winter Lights, as well as park programs such as Park Spark volunteers
- Acting as an extreme weather respite space, if needed
A preliminary list of proposed programs includes children’s programs (nature play and learn, after school programs and camps), crafts, quilting, Mahjong, arts partner programs, artist in residence, artist demonstrations, singing, seminars, English language classes, talks and lectures, parties and meeting space, hiking and outdoor safety classes, biking and cycling classes, and STEM/STEAM classes. Community event rentals are also expected.
One of the next key steps will be to start a request for proposals process for food and beverage offerings in the space so that a potential vendor can provide input on the design, furnishings, fixtures and finishes of the concession.
Over the coming months, staff will also connect with the City’s cultural partners and the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation in relation to future programming options.
It is anticipated that a final design will be brought forward for Council’s approval in late 2022 with renovations to begin in spring 2023 and be completed by spring 2024.
Building Innovation into Facility Projects in Coquitlam
Coquitlam is in the process of developing a Major Recreation and Cultural Facilities Road Map – a user-friendly document that distils and maps out the complex process of funding, designing, constructing and operating a dozen major facility projects coming up in the next 10 to 15 years. These projects include the new Northeast Community Centre, improvements to Spani Outdoor Pool, Southwest Arts and Heritage facilities and upgrades to the community centre in Town Centre Park.
More information about the Major Recreation and Cultural Facilities Road Map is available at www.coquitlam.ca/mrcfr.
Manager, Recreation & Culture Facility Planning